“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I have a special place in my heart for McDonald's.

Not the Happy Meals or golden fries. I value the opportunity that McDonald's provided my family. 

My dad started work there at age sixteen, and my mom joined soon after.  Both worked hard, saved every penny, and fifteen years later, launched their own store.  My dad would open at 5am, and my mom would close at 11pm.   On tough weeks, they struggled just to make payroll.

My McDonald's career started at age eight.  First wiping tables.  Then pouring drinks. By high school, I too, could open at 5am or stay late to lock up at 11pm.  I grew up in McDonald's – seeing firsthand the building blocks of opportunity.  Hard work, sacrifice, and support for one another.

I retired my McDonald's uniform many years ago.  I won’t retire the learning: opportunity is a precious gift, but one best shared.  I will dedicate my life to help create opportunity for those who seek it.

I have a special place in my heart for the sixteen-year-old kid with a dream.

— Ryan Kennedy